Thursday, March 3, 2011


One of my biggest struggles in life is discontentment.

I realize I "shouldn't" be discontent. But let's be honest here, sometimes even though you know all the reasons you shouldn't do a certain thing or feel a certain way, you still struggle with it. And that's where I am, so I'm going to talk honestly about it.

I have spent years now looking toward the next big thing, the next life change, the thing I am so sure will make me happy and more complete. Getting married. Having a baby. Graduating from college. Buying a house. Getting a bigger vehicle. Going back to school. Selling the house. Getting a more fuel-efficient vehicle. Having a big house out in the country with lots of land. Having a comfortable-sized house in town so we will be close to friends and family. Losing another pants size, or three. Getting the newest electronic gadget. Making more money. Having a career I enjoy. And on and on and on.

And it's not just that I am always looking for the next big thing to make me content; it's that I'm looking toward life events and situations to make me content at all. I know those things are not where my sense of happiness and contentment should lie. So why do I succumb to the temptation to put too much stock in those things?

Conventional wisdom says you should plan out where you want to go and then take steps to get there. And I think that can be a good thing. But for people like me who too often equate contentment with getting to the next big goal, this is sometimes less like wisdom and more like a millstone around the neck. Perhaps I need less planning and goal-setting, and more faith, hope, and joy in God.

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